I wish I could say that my experience with University Christian Church, as detailed in previous posts, was a unique one. But it is not. I am finding that it is more common than I could have thought. I have read numerous blog posts of people who have gone through similar experiences. My own previous experiences also hold some similarities.
It was somewhere around the time that I started blogging that God started putting some crazy thoughts in my head. The church I was attending was going through Eric Rees's book, S.H.A.P.E. I was studying it with our small group, and was finding some statements and thoughts that bothered me. It seemed that everything about God was really about me. One statement that has stuck with me is about how our strengths and abilities show God's glory. But what about our weaknesses and inabilities? Isn't the true glory of God found in how He fills what is lacking in me? He concluded with a challenge to take a 90 day test drive into service. If it works, keep going, if not, you have only lost 90 days. Is that the message of the cross, or is it a message designed to grow a church by catering to people's whims and fancy?
When I sought out some of the leaders of the church, responses were varied, but ultimately no one wanted to really discuss that matter. One of the ministers told me that "I don't have time to debate theology with you." Really? Have I mentioned that I was an elder at the church? Others in various capacities of leadership had mixed responses to the book, but since the 40 study was over, what did it matter now?
That was the beginning of a journey for me that has awakened a desire in me to know more of God. Not a desire to do more or be a better Christian. Those things may be good, but without a solid understanding of God and who He is and how I should relate to Him, I fear that those other things ultimately will not matter. Well, they will, just not in the way that some will expect them to. Read Matthew 7:21-23, I dare ya!